MHealth.org Blog - Full Story
A former hobby farm-owner and endurance horseback rider, Cathe Cheesebrow never sat still. But when kidney failure threatened her quality of life, a close friend stepped up to become a living donor.
November 9 2015
Cathe Cheesebrow is not the type of person who likes sitting still. A former hobby farm owner and an avid endurance horseback rider, Cathe describes herself as a “doer and goer.”
“The only time I ever sat still was when I came in for supper and then went to bed,” Cathe said.
When Cathe’s energy levels bottomed out in the winter of 2013, she knew something was very wrong. Diagnosed in the early 2000s with kidney failure, the rural Wisconsin resident visited her nephrologist. After testing determined she had reached end-stage kidney failure, the doctor gave her two options: Wait for a donor from the National Kidney Registry—a lengthy process that would likely involve dialysis—or seek out a living kidney donor.
“Dialysis terrified the heck out of me. I did not want to be tethered down,” said Cathe, who received the unwelcome news on July 3, 2014. But on a getaway over the July 4 weekend, her failing health made it impossible for her to get into the saddle without help from her friends.
Desperate for help, Cathe posted a message on Facebook when she returned home seeking a volunteer donor. Little did she know a close friend had already taken matters into her own hands.
An uncommon gift
Enter Janet Sarver, who met Cathe in 2003 at a long-distance horseback riding competition. The sport is known as endurance riding, and participants often compete over distances ranging from 25 up to 100 miles. Like Cathe, Janet is an enthusiastic endurance rider, and participates in trail riding competitions across the state. Janet and Cathe’s friendship was cemented in 2012, during a 25-mile endurance race...
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